Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5 Things About My Beautiful Girl

My beautiful daughter is growing up and continuing to be the impressive human being she always has been and simply one of my favorite people to be around. Here are 5 things about Thing 1 that I'd like to share:

1. She loves to read and write and does so almost constantly. In fact, she's been blogging a lot lately. I love her stories and posts. She especially loves the fantasy genre (Harry Potter being her all-time favorite), though she'll read anything and everything. She's ahead of her own time in all that she accomplishes. It won't surprise me one little bit when she gets published one day. Not one little bit.

2. She wants to do everything. She has interests in just about anything and everything she sees or hears about or considers and goes after learning about all those things with a zest, happiness, excitement, enjoyment, and determination like no other.

At 3 years old, she took a sign language class and ate it up and continued to teach herself even more on her own. She currently is taking a horseback riding class that she absolutely loves. In fact, she has declared it her favorite activity. Perhaps it has something to do with the more than 70-odd books she's read about horses.

Taking a horsemanship class with two of her close friends

She also plays two instruments (it would be more if there were more hours and money in each week -- she would love to try even more!) -- piano and violin. I could go on and on.

For now, I want to share a picture of our virtuoso who will have the wonderful honor of playing violin at Carnegie Hall this week -- all the girls are wearing white dresses and red sashes. Isn't she lovely!

Dress rehearsal for the Carnegie concert

3. Other than horseback riding, I didn't mention her athletic side in the paragraphs above. She takes on any challenge with gusto. She is currently participating in track and field this spring.

Participating in the softball throw

Running the 200-meter

She is a tomboy BIG TIME. She can usually be found climbing a tree or play structure, swinging on monkey bars, or running full speed in a wicked game of Capture the Flag with about 50 other kids (usually barefoot to boot). She approaches sports and fitness with more openness than I ever did as a kid and she serves as an example to me in that. I let my height and scrawniness deter me. She lets nothing deter her. This is especially evidenced in the following video.

You see, she takes Tae Kwon Do. Her brother was the only one in the family who was doing it at first and she, of course, said, "I'd like to try it!"and so she and Mark joined in as well.

When Thing 1 tested for her green belt a few months ago, she seemed preoccupied and struggled with the board breaking part of her test. Mark and I noticed right away that she wasn't herself during the test. She got home and laid on the couch all day with a fever. I asked her what was up and if she slept well. She admitted that she had been up much of the night with worry about the board breaking part of her test. She was so consumed by it that it had affected her on test day. She passed and did well on her forms and her crazy high kicks (she's mad flexible), but she was not able to break the board (they don't have to break it -- it's more important that they try).

We talked a lot about her feelings, positive thinking, self-confidence, approach, perspective, and not giving power to outside factors. She worked hard over the next couple of months and prepared to test for her high green belt. I asked her how she was feeling about it, especially since the master of the studio said that for high green belts and above, there is an old Korean proverb that says they should be able to defend against 3 attackers at once and so she would be up against 3 black belts running at her with boards that she would have to break in 3 different ways. She said, with total and full confidence, "I'm ready." She was not nervous at all and she tackled that test like no other. Whenever I'm feeling less than capable or determined, I just think of this -- she kicked BUTT on this test:

4. She is a great friend and enjoys many sweet friendships. She and her brother are best of friends. Yes, they have their moments (don't all siblings?), but by and large, they are often cracking each other up and enjoying time together. They are really good friends who care about each other deeply.

Thing 1 and Scout cheering on Thing 2 at his baseball game

It is totally so NOT "beneath" her to hang out with her little brother. She jumps right in and plays with him as well as any and all kids of ALL ages -- boys AND girls. And if the game involves battling or Nerf weapons or light sabers? She's in.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 with their VERY good friends,
Rich and Brennan, after a long, intense battle in the sun.

She also enjoys a sweet friendship with her BFF and it's really special. The two of them are SUPER nice girls who are so young at heart and not one bit in a rush to be "tweeners" caught up in boys or make up. I'm sure that will come eventually, but I'm glad there's no interest yet and that they're enjoying being children for as long as possible.

They're content playing games, being outside in the backyard, and talking about horses, dogs, or dolphins. They enjoy making friendship bracelets and art projects for each other, and talking about books, movies, American Idol, Wizard 101, and Webkinz.

Celebrating spring with a May Day celebration

5. She loves and has an interest in good food. Whether we're cooking at home or eating out, she is adventurous and open and willing to try anything -- the stranger the better. She has said for years that she'd like to own a restaurant someday (so long as she can write her books, too). We've seriously looked into possibilities like someday owning a franchise or maybe even a food truck, so she can pursue her dreams. Attending culinary school is on her list as well as majoring in creative writing in college. For now, she is happy to help in the kitchen, try new foods, and continue enjoying her tried and true favorites. Top of the list? Girl after my own heart - sushi!

She and I went on a special date this past week (I got this really neat idea from a very good friend of mine who does the same with her daughters) -- we used this date to talk about what it means to be a good person generally and a young lady specifically. We went out for a sushi lunch together, stopped at the girl's section of Kohl's for some, ahem, growing up clothing for sports, read an American Girl book together about the physical and emotional aspects of growing up, and stopped at Claire's so she could spend a gift card she got for her birthday. It was really special and so, so comfortable and easy.

Out for a sushi lunch with my favorite girl

I love my daughter and feel so unbelievably lucky to be her mother.

Stay tuned for the next post about Thing 2 . . .


The Magic Violinist said...

:) The smiley face says it all. I love you.

Lindsay said...

What a cute, cute girl! I am so excited that Kate is participating in Track. So glad that I got to spend time with her a few months ago (and the rest of the family, of course)

bythelbs said...

She IS awesome! (Takes after her mom, I think. And dad, too, I'm sure.)

Zelia said...

All I can say about my graddaughter is DITTO!

the emily said...

That is a sweet, sweet post. I love that you wrote this about her as a person--not as her mother, but also as her mother. You know? Like you're friends that hang out, but you also love her fiercely as her mother. Is this coming out right? I love your relationship with her, I love her talents that you share here and her clever stories she blogs. I have no doubt she'll accomplish everything she sets her mind to.

Cristin said...

What a lovely post! : )

Kirsten said...

Awww... You are so lucky to have an awesome mom Kate, I have one too though.

Mom said...

So many diversified activities and interests. So well rounded. Such a beautiful person.

Jimmy said...

I only know her through blogs, but I think she's one of the brightest girls I know!

Chelle said...

So many sweet things to say about such a sweet girl. I'm so glad the two of you have each other.